From right - Caresser, Atilla the Hun, The Roaring Lion and Lord Executor—calypso legends all—during a performance in the early 20th century.

October 2020 makes it 18 years that Trinidad and Tobago has been observing and celebrating Calypso History Month with the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO), and all proponents of the calypso artform.

The theme for this year’s commemorations is “Calypso, Beyond Boundaries and Borders”, and according to a release from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and The Arts, this month will see homage paid to “calypso’s influence on cultures around the world and their deep seeded connection to Trinidad and Tobago”.

“Our country is a historical and cultural melting pot and every race, creed and class has been either influenced by or contributed to the development of the art form,” says Senator Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

In the Ministry’s statement, Minister Mitchell observes that calypso has played a key role in the social, educational, economic and certainly political development of Trinidad and Tobago.

“As we celebrate Calypso History Month along with TUCO, let us take the time even in the face of the challenges that confront us to pay tribute to an art form that has taken us through Emancipation to Independence and beyond,” he said.

He noted: “The importance of this celebration has become even more significant in 2020 as every year we look to calypsonians as the storytellers and archivers of our history and our heritage,” the Minister stated. 

Minister Mitchell added: “Through calypsoes we pay tribute to our pioneers and the resilience of our people.  Through calypsoes our creativity and wit take centre stage and provide an important platform from which to tell the story of Trinidad and Tobago’s journey through time.  In the classroom of life in Trinidad and Tobago, the Calypsonians are certainly our teachers.”